J&J, which will stop selling opioids in the U.S., reaches $ 230 million with New York

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The opioid crisis is believed to have caused more than 500,000 lives since 1999.

Johnson & Johnson, one of the pharmaceutical giants accused of fueling the deadly U.S. opioid crisis, has reached an agreement with New York State for $ 230 million and has confirmed that it will stop manufacturing or selling opioids to United States.

The deal announced Saturday allows Johnson & Johnson to resolve disputes over its role in the epidemic, which has killed more than half a million people since 1999, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

For its part, in a separate statement, J&J said that allowed to avoid a trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday and said the group had “made the business decision in 2020 to suspend all its in the United States.”

The agreement “is not the admission of liability or unlawful acts by the company,” he said, noting that there are other legal processes at the national level, including a lawsuit in California.

The prosecutor’s statement said the company would spread the payments over nine years.

J&J could also pay an additional $ 30 million in the first year if the state enacts new legislation that creates an opioid liquidation fund.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities in New York State and the rest of the nation, and has left millions addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said in the statement.

“Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they pledge to leave the opiate business, not just in New York, but across the country,” he added.

This includes both the manufacture and sale of opioids, James said. Johnson & Johnson stressed that it had made the decision before the agreement was reached.

The $ 230 million will be used to prevent, treat and educate efforts about substance hazards in New York State.

Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical companies and distributors are accused of encouraging doctors to over-prescribe opioids (initially reserved for patients with especially severe cancers), even though they knew they were highly addictive.

Since 1999, this dependence has pushed many drug users to increase and increase and illicit substances such as heroin or fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opiate with a high risk of fatal overdose.

Since then, about 500,000 people have died from drug overdoses in the United States.

Cost of billions

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s leading public health agency, estimates that about 90,000 people will die from drug overdoses by 2020, most of whom were opioids.

The U.S. Department of Health estimates that the crisis was responsible for declining four-year life expectancy in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Then-President Donald Trump declared it a national public health emergency in October 2017.

The CDC estimated in 2019 that the economic burden of the crisis, including health care costs, lost productivity, and the costs of the criminal justice system, was about $ 78.5 billion annually.

A study published by the American Society of Actuaries estimated the cost of the four years 2015-2018 at $ 631 billion.

The crisis seemed to be easing ahead of the pandemic, thanks in part to tighter prescription controls, but the CDC recently reported an acceleration in deaths from drug overdoses, including opioids.

Although lawsuits have escalated in the country, many companies are trying to reach agreements.

In February, consulting firm McKinsey said it agreed to pay $ 573 million to resolve lawsuits filed by some 40 U.S. states that accused it of contributing to the crisis through his advice to , including Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of oxycontin.


J&J and other drug manufacturers are suing over the opioid crisis in the United States


© 2021 AFP

Citation: J&J to stop selling opioids in the US, reaches $ 230 million set with New York (2021, June 26) recovered on June 26, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-jj -opioids-mn-settlement-york .html

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